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Firewall (2006)
20 out of 26 people found the following review useful:
oh man...., 23 February 2006
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Some big spoilers coming......

Let me start with I have been a HUGE fan of Harrison Ford's most of my life but I have been dreading this one - especially after the bad Hollywood Homicide. I just never thought I would leave the theater laughing at one of his films!

I expected the usual sneering, "leave my family alone" performance and I got it, but with each film he makes he just looks worse and the acting gets just a bit hammier. There is also this plot - with holes you can drive a truck through - starting with the "mastermind" criminals. Yes, they are thorough - they staked out Harrison's house, know the family's routines, planned and executed a perfect home invasion - it's all quite smooth until....THE PHONE RINGS! No one knows what to do when the kid answers that dreaded telephone so they all flip out, point weapons and look scared. Unbelievable.

Then there is the bank heist - again these seemingly prepared criminals somehow overlooked the fact that Harrison's bank just completed a merger. Oops - the computer terminal needed to actually steal the money is now gone and housed in Wisconsin at the new bank headquarters. In true Macguyver style, Harrison still manages to steal the dough using part of a fax machine and his daughter's iPod!

The exposition in this film is so obvious - like the family dog who appears in the beginning of the film and is gone again until about 1/3 through when the mom seemingly needlessly points out the dog's special GPS tracking collar. The son tries to remove it and the mom tells him not to - even though they are held captive in their own home and I'm not sure how the dog would run away to need a GPS tracker anyway. But of course this bit of exposition sure does pay off in the end when the kidnappers take off with family in tow. Harrison overhears the dog barking during a cell phone call. Yes, these evil thugs would give a peanut butter cookie to a peanut allergic boy but they are not so heartless as to leave the family pet behind while abducting the family cross country!

So, in his desperate attempt to reclaim his family from these brutes, he breaks into the home of the secretary he had recently fired and convinces her to assist him in his quest to rescue his loved ones. Conveniently they have a laptop along for the ride and Washington State has such a strong wi-fi computer signal that they can track that GPS tracker on the dog practically to the kidnappers doorstep IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!

A very physical battle ensues between 65 year old Ford and a man half his age but Indiana Jones triumphed again and his family was saved. Unfortunately Virgina Madsen is totally wasted in her follow up to Sideways and Paul Bettany puts in a pretty standard bad guy performance.

If you are a big HF fan then you need to see this but it was hard to watch him try to keep up his action hero persona as he actually stumbles and falls in some of the scenes. I am not sure if this was intended but it made me wince. I wish he could do another film like Witness and be a little more picky about the scripts he chooses.

Just my 2 cents for all that is worth!

I saw that one coming...., 1 August 2004

I agree that it will be very hard to top Sixth Sense but the previews for this film had me geared up for a good old fashioned scare ala The Others. The tension in the woods seemed promising at first with a few Blair Witchian sound effects but the drama played out heavily and the plot was slow to unravel. I though the acting was excellent and once I gave up on any hopes of a real good jump in my seat, I enjoyed the film. BUT, I must admit I whispered to my friend what I thought the big TWIST might be and...I was right. I guess I was expecting a bit more to this film but I did think it was well filmed and the director does have a huge burden on his shoulders to create masterpieces every time. If you like Planet of the Apes, you'll like this one!